ZIMBABWE’S Tobacco Industry Marketing Board (TIMB) has registered 814 new farmers for the 2022/23 summer cropping season.

In a statement yesterday, the board said “as of Tuesday, the TIMB has registered a total of 80 314 growers, 814 of which there are new growers”.

“We continually encourage growers to renew their grower numbers in time and encourage all those who are operating without grower numbers to apply for grower numbers.

“A total seed sales at Tobacco Research Board and Zimbabwe Tobacco Seed Association for flue cured tobacco were 731 825 covering 121 971 hectares, ‘’ the statement read.

The board said there were indications that 97 percent of the crop would be under contract this season and that TIMB will strictly monitor private contractors to safeguard the farmer.

“As the 2022/23 season commences, we are working towards standardising the inputs package offered by contractors to growers.

“We have come up with a compliance administration framework that every registered contractor should meet.

“It stipulates the minimum input packages for small scale and large-scale growers.

“These conditions also stipulate the last date for inputs distribution for those who are contracted.
“With over 90 percent of the tobacco produced in Zimbabwe being done under contract farming, TIMB is making it mandatory for contractors to have child labor policies and processes in place to accelerate the adoption by tobacco growers.

“If done correctly, the hope is this will then cascade to the small percentage of free growers. The board is keen on working with all stakeholders in the tobacco industry to eradicate child labour,” the statement read further.

The tobacco auction floors closed yesterday, with contract sales ongoing until further notice.

So far TIMB has convicted 29 companies for side marketing during the ongoing selling season.
“We are also implementing good corporate governance systems.

During the 2021/2022 season we put in place the S.I. 77 of 2022 on side marketing to improve compliance and orderly marketing.

423 individuals and 29 companies were convicted and fined for committing different offences during the 2022 tobacco marketing season,” TIMB said. – Daily News